RealTime IT News

Startup Pushes 411 For Mobile Crowd

Motorola Ventures, which is earmarking more than $100 million to back startups this year, has invested in wireless directory assistance startup 422 Inc.

"422's cutting-edge wireless directory technology of connecting consumers seamlessly to the people and information that they want aligns with Motorola's vision," Warren Holtsberg, a Motorola vice president who oversees its investments, said in a statement.

The financing round, which also included previous investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham Ventures, was 422's third. Neither Motorola's contribution, nor the total raised by the four-year-old company, was disclosed.

Consumers can enroll their wireless telephone number in 422's directory while maintaining control over their phone listing and what information is available. The company does not reveal the number or other private information not authorized by the user.

The service incorporates privacy controls by allowing people to determine who can connect to them, when and how. In addition to access through the 422 access code, users can search, register and edit their listings at www.422.info.

Motorola Venture's most recent investment is part of a trend by wireless players to increase their venture activities. NTT DoCoMo and Nokia have also recently ramped up investments.

By placing more bets, the companies have a better chance of owning a piece of technology that can eventually be integrated into their products or services.